BOLD Favor April 2017

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APRIL 2017



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ELIZABETH ST. JOHN-HALL QUIN WHATLEY BOLD Favor Magazine is the Leadership Lifestyle magazine that highlights BOLD people, organizations and causes that inspire us to live fearlessly. A part of the BOLD Favor Media Group, and the 2016 Passkey Presents “ATL’s Hottest Magazine”, the magazine has grown to 250K+ email list, 17K+ Instagram followers, 3.2K Facebook likes, and 5K Twitter followers.



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Golden Professional Realty


When Women are not Heard


Passion Meets Purpose Odette Flemming


Phenomenal Woman Kayl May


In Search of Happiness


Glamour Girls


The Art of Reiki


Haute Beautiful Boss: Jessica P.


Restaurant Review: Mason Tavern


All the Way to the UK: Jenni Steele


What is Influence?


The Good List: Moving Forward


Girl Don’t You Do It: How Messing Around with A Married Man Can Break You Down


Women Living Their Dreams: Giving back in a Bold Way: Advocacy that Unleashes Potential


The Purse. It’s in the Bag.


This Is What a Doctor Looks Like


A Celebration of Legacy: 25 years of theTrumpet Awards


What’s The Biz


Travel Review: All Roads Lead to Greece and Back Again


The Benefits of Pre-Cruise and Post-Cruise Hotel Stays


Breaking News


After the Dust Settles




The Gypsy Express Chats with Priyanka Banks


Reflections from LMB





APRIL 2017 MAGAZINE CONTRIBUTORS Asia Wheaton Brianna D. Screen Cathy Burroughs David Good Dorna Werdelin Erica Y. Campbell Jackie Madison Lynda Dell Myesha Good Nissa K. Elliott Odette Fleming Regina “Sunshine” Robinson Sandy Chernoff Shana Thornton Shavonda McCaleb Tinzley Bradford

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“What the people want is very simple - they want an America as good as its promise.” As I reflect back on the months since Trump was elected president, I am reminded of that quote from the late Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordon. It reminds me that people want what know they can get. There is no greater showing of this than Black History Month and Women’s History Month, two periods of recognition that represent groups of people in America that just want America’s promise to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. No special handouts, just the same opportunities as everyone else to make good on the American dream, instead of the nightmare that we have today. So, we the people in order to create a more perfect union must take BOLD steps to make this country greater than it has ever been-- and not go back to where people of color were treated as second class citizens and where women were treated as objects not equals. Welcome to the spring edition of BOLD Favor Magazine! In this issue, we have insightful articles and in-depth interviews highlighting women who are working in male dominated fields and accomplished people of color who are living the American dream. In 2017, we are off to a rousing start despite the uncertainty coming from the new White House. Our subscribership and influence has skyrocketed mainly due to the overwhelming support that we have received from you, our readers, advertisers, writers, and definitely the BOLD leadership that BOLD Favor Media Group’s Founder Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell has exhibited, which has taken this magazine and organization to new heights and demand. In this issue of BOLD FAVOR, we are pleased to feature on our cover former MTV Host, author & Life Coach Abiola Abrams who tells her empowering story of being a “queen who wears many hats”; features that include African American transplant specialist Dr. Christie Gooden, who tells young women and patients that This Is What A Doctor Looks Like; interview with the UK’s National Ambassador on domestic violence; the passion of comic bookstore owner Ariell Johnson; and our CHROME spotlight broker John Osgood. We also have Bold Reflections from our founder, learn what made the Good List, get advice from the Love Mama, be inspired when you Ask Bri, enjoy 25 years of the Trumpet Awards and listen in on a Chat with Priyanka Banks and the Gypsy Empress. We also have stories on small business, non-profits, having influence, health, travel, book and food reviews, and incredible stories of happiness, inspiration, looking beyond false limitations and BOLDLY going after your dreams with resolve and tenacity. Enjoy shopping with our wonderful advertisers and share your thoughts with us we listen! And remember: Go out and be great while inspiring greatness in others. The future favors the BOLD!

David M. Good David M. Good



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John Osgood was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. He is a 40-year-old married father of 5 children and a broker. He currently lives in Covington, GA. He has been a real estate agent for more than 13 years. John has outsold all of his agents for the past 3 years and received Agent of the Year from 2014 to 2016. He enjoys traveling, riding his ATV and listening to the advice of Clark Howard through his many podcast series. He also enjoys reading financial literature and learning Spanish in his spare time. Golden Professional Realty Group, a covington based real estate brokerage firm, is owned and operated by John Osgood Jr. The firm is in the business of selling homes, finding and listing properties for sale by potential sellers and finding listed properties for potential buying clients. It is also engaged in managing rental properties for clients, conducting market surveys for potential clients and preparing Banking Evaluations (BPOs).

BFM: Hello John, we are thrilled to have you, let’s get to it! You are a broker and the owner of Golden Professional Realty Group. Did you come up with that name? What inspired the name Golden Professional…It’s very catchy and draws an interest. GPR: Initially, one of my business associates and I decided upon a joint venture to establish a multi-purpose firm where customers have multiple services available to them. We want Golden Professional Realty to be a “totally client centric” firm with a wide range of concierge services in addition to meeting our clients’ real estate needs. BFM: There are tons of Brokerage firms, what makes Golden Professional unique and different from others? Tell us more about Golden Professional Realty group? Do you have agents working with you? GPR: Golden Professional Realty Group differentiates itself from these dominant companies that has deep pockets, high name recognition and access to huge inventory by being “totally client centric”, which means focusing on building personal relationships and providing above average client service, and delivering them at a substantially lower commission rate. This compares to the impersonal and low level of service, high level of complaints and high commission charged by the competition. We offer property management services, tenant and landlord representation, assisting with purchasing a home or selling one, asset management services, and single-family home services as well. We also give our clients a thorough real estate analysis which will assist them in making the best choice as they are contemplating the purchase of a new home or selling their current property. We currently have 6 passionate and highly knowledgeable agents working for our firm. BFM: How hard is it to get a home loan in today’s economy? Is it true that if your credit score is below 550, lenders won’t even look at you? GPR: The process is quite tedious and time consuming but not hard. Lenders are more cautious now because of past real estate woes in our country within the last 10 years. They are stricter at this point. You should be quite realistic and understand that you may need to have more cash reserve than in the past. However, it is quite attainable. A 550 FICO credit score will not get you an FHA loan, which they require a 600 score. Many first time homebuyers use these types of loans. A 550 FICO

score is a start however; I would recommend working toward achieving a 600 FICO score or better at a minimum. BFM: Going by your site and your Facebook page, your firm seems to be a very upscale brokerage firm. (My opinion only) Do you work with everyone or just clients who can afford over $200,000 plus home loans? I saw a photo of Ice Cube and a few other celebrities…is this considered a brokerage firm for mostly the rich or well off clients? Did they endorse your firm? GPR: Golden Professional is “totally Client Centric”. Our firm works with everyone, we are an equal housing opportunity company. We have sold homes in all price ranges. Our doors are open to everyone. No, Ice Cube has not endorsed us. I happen to admire his great business sense and you never know, he might after reading this article. BFM: Now tell us more about your rental programs. Quite Frankly I didn’t even know brokers did rental properties. I thought it was all about home buying. GPR: Rental programs have become quite abundant following the recession a few years ago. Many brokerage firms assist clients with locating rental properties in the Metro Area, in addition to assisting landlords with tenant placement. BFM: Is this a family business? GPR: Yes, we are a family business. BFM: I was impressed when I read somewhere you do community work and give back to help less fortunate kids and/or families. Can you share more about your community work? I’m sure there are tons and tons of people who would love to be a part of it. GPR: We offer first time home buyer seminars to guide people in the right direction. We give them advice on where to start and we refer them to the proper people if we cannot help them at the time. I spend time on a local radio station here in Covington, WGFS 1030am,

giving advice to the community on how to get started selling their home and things they need to do to get the most out of their experience. We participated in local “Youth Explosion” back to school event here in Covington. We donate supplies and clothes to our local Goodwill and other donation centers in our community. We also support Relay for Life events throughout the year as well. We are currently in the process of creating a partnership with a women’s shelter here in Covington as well. BFM: Wow! I think that’s just amazing and many of the women in the shelters I’m certain will benefit from whatever partnership you are creating. It can be tough trying to start over. Now, some firms want to be known for flipping houses or owning the most investment properties…. What do you want Golden Professional Realty Group to be known for? GPR: I want Golden Professional Realty to be known for the establishment of our ongoing relationships with our clients and our desire to continue to help them when needed. BFM: Who inspires you in the business, are there any big time firms who you see yourself mirroring? What led you to start your own brokerage firm? GPR: I admire all of the real estate firms for different reasons. I wanted to establish my own firm because I do not want my clients to be numbers. I want them to get to know me on a personal basis and understand that I am here to promote their best interest. It’s important to me that they understand that I would not make a deal for them that I would not accept for myself. BFM: Amazing response! We need more people who think like you because you’re right, many firms label people without ever truly giving them a chance. I consider myself more than just a number! Let me ask you, with all the responsibilities that come with running a business and raising a family, trying to keep that balance…. Have you ever wanted to just quit?

Facebook: Golden Professional Realty Group • Instagram: @gprealty_ snapchat: GoldenProRealty • • 404-477-459i


What keeps you going in a business where selling homes and renting properties could make or break your company’s bottom line? GPR: Yes, I think we all have had those thoughts about quitting, no matter what we do. I quickly remember the passion I have for real estate once my client reminds me of a deal that went wrong or a negative experience they may have had. Those comments inspire me to keep pushing forward and making a difference in this industry. BFM: Do you sell commercial property, too? GPR: Yes, we do sell commercial properties. BFM: Are there any special programs for people with less than perfect credit?

Channeling Our Inner GEEK

GPR: There are options out there for people with less than perfect credit. They can do a lease-purchase, which gives the buyer the option to work on their credit over time, which will lead to the ultimate goal of home-ownership in the end.

graphics • web • illustration

BFM: Tell us the top 5 reasons people don’t qualify for a home and what to do? GPR: 1. Debt-credit cards, student loans, car payments etc. 2. Low credit scores 3. Debt to income ratios-mortgage rules have changed 4. Insufficient income for the amount of house people want to buy 5. Not enough money to come up with a down payment What they can do? Work to improve all the areas mentioned in my 5 tips.

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BFM: It’s been a pleasure speaking to you and thanks for taking the time to let us in your world? Where can people find you to connect and stay in touch? How could people connect with you? GPR: The pleasure all mine, thanks for having me. Yes, you can connect with me on Facebook: Golden Professional Realty Group. You can find me on Instagram: @gprealty_ or on snapchat: GoldenProRealty. My email address is: john@ and my office number is 404-4774591. ■ Tinzley Bradford




When Women are Heard, and not just Seen, the Earth Shall Move! 12

In the spirit of sisterhood, it is only right that we celebrate March as Women’s History Month! We have so many things to celebrate and the Women’s March on Washington coupled with Sister Marches across the country only solidified what we have always known…that women have a voice, women are true leaders, and oftentimes the backbone behind and parallel to male leaders. The Universal Womanhood Collective (UWC), Inc. seeks to preserve that notion, with its mission to bring together women of all nationalities, backgrounds and socioeconomic classes, to share experiences and resources in order to propel the mission of individual entities within the collective. What does this all mean? It means that UWC, Inc. seeks out dynamic women who are already doing phenomenal social and civic work, advancing the political, financial, emotional, mental and physical livelihood of women! This September, UWC, Inc. is gathering movers and shakers from across the globe to converge upon St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, for its inaugural Total Body Strengthening Retreat, a 4-night, 3-day experience that touches on the shared female experience. There will be laughter, tears and a strong sense of community as the beautiful island of St. Croix serves as the backdrop for a return to a true sense of sense – authentic and organic! The Atlanta March for Social Justice and Women on January 21, 2017, renewed the excitement toward UWC’s cause, with its President and board members attending to represent all the Wonder Women everywhere! Women, men and children filled the streets of downtown Atlanta in full stride marching, singing, dancing and chanting toward the Georgia State Capitol. Shouts of “Love, not Hate, will Make America Great!” and “No Justice, No Peace!”, and signs illuminating the fight for equality, with a few jabs thrown in against those who choose to oppress the rights of others, served as the soundtrack for a day of unity and pride. It is that pride that will be continued at the UWC, Inc.’s Total Body Strengthening Retreat in September because recognizing and celebrating women should not be relegated to one month in the year! To register, visit the UWC, Inc. website at! ■ Dorna F. Werdelin

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Short Bio--Odette Flemming - I am a Mom. Moment maker. Change agent. Avid reader and teacher who is never ashamed to share my geeky side for the cause! For information on my passion for helping students master the test without the stress, check me out at

Passion Meets Purpose

at a Comic Store in Philly

“Why is it that w e’re alw long to ays look see our ing for o s e lves bein not the urselves g amazin sidekick in these g. We lik or the p medium e e r ip t o h e s s? It’s b ee feats ral char It is this ecause acter th o desire t f g r e a a we t ness ac t’s there o have a light o t a e fo ll d r laughs people o n the ne u t a nd we w  — we w see a b ed for d on a var ant to b it of sup ant to b iversity iant cov e a part e e in r t h he hero ero in th all mediu er for M of it, Black w sometim emselve ms, esp arvel’s In oman. T e s s e , c t v h t ia in o a h o ll cible Iro t has ins is next g y comic .” and the n Man a pired Ar s. Rece eneratio spirit of longside iell John ntly, an n Iron M inclusio animate son to s an saga the reva n. d Johns hine mped Ir is exact Thank y on was ly the ty onheart ou, Arie fe pe of ex c ll Johns a h t a u r success red a cte pansion on, for in busin exempli that com r, Riri Williams ess and fying th -a es from in life. e fact th convers at follow ation ing you r passio n and y our purp ose can lead to

■ Odette Flemming

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wife mother grandmother commentator counselor author

"Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care." Theodore Roosevelt

When we think of “phenomenal women”, names like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, or Shonda Rhimes comes to mind. Though these women have earned their crown, there are many that go unmentioned. Kayl Renee May is one that should be in that category. Kayl is one who shines a smile regardless of what her circumstances may be. I guess this is why, till now, she is often looked over. From her lips, you hear how she was raised like other normal kids. If coming from a strict home and raised with a belief that all women shouldn’t be caught, unless dead without a head covering...a hat, that is. She testifies that she was surrounded by nothing but strength. From her father, mother, aunts and uncles. Being resilient was second nature. There was no time to lick your wounds, so to speak. Quitting was never the name of the game. So meeting her husband to be at 16, who shared those same values, is a connection she’s come to lean on when time has called for her to do so.

the Phenomenal Woman



She shows no signs of stopping. But who knows one is living history when one is just living it. Kayl Renee’ May The Customer Service and Leadership Coach, Speaker, Radio Personality, Mentor, and Author Favorite Quote “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt Kayl May has been a successful Customer Service and Leadership Coach for years working under the Corporate umbrella. Kayl is a veteran after proudly serving her country in the Air Force Reserve from 19891997 being honorably discharged. In her early career, she worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant for over 5 years learning the meaning of what customer service was all about. The start of her passion began when she honored her gift for taking care of her patients, which turned into customers, who became her family. She worked at a major retailer for 10 years in the

Photographs by Tina Bridges #tlbphotography Jewelry by

The understanding of relationships has propelled Kayl to jobs of excellence. Customer Service and Leadership being the key component. Her genuine nature, some call it mother affection, has won even the darkest of hearts. Her way is to give them a second glance at their reality. Choices in choosing steps for a better future. Advising them to take back what was said about them (negatively) and turn it into a positive. Being a mother has has ensured her gift of nurturing. Kayl can never be called a hoarder. What she has is freely given to others. Simply ask for help, if she doesn’t know, she’ll connect you to someone who can. She has lived her life about building bridges. You can hear it when she speaks to millions on the live broadcast. Her concerns are about what can we do to heal the disconnection. Her efforts/voice connects so well to what is needed today. Kayl May: wife, mother, grandmother, commentator, counselor, author... joins us, informs us, directs us. 18

department of fine jewelry. She maintained the #1 position for outstanding records in sales in the district utilizing her many customer service and leadership techniques earning her more income than her district manager. When the economy began to take a nose dive, she sought refuge in her new venture at a mobility communication company. From the bottom, she climbed the ladder to success rapidly. Within 5 years, she became Area Manager Lead for 31 locations. On her journey, she realized she was doing exactly what she wanted to do for future companies and that is to Build value around Customer Service and Leadership. Kayl says, “I knew nothing about the industry, but only knew how to ensure my customers had a great experience with every visit which turned into sales and loyal customers.” Kayl further says, “When asked about my success or how I turned a particular location around, my answer has always been I enhanced the customer’s experience with the original staff. You must understand that if you do not take care of your customer base, your company will

not survive. Exceptional customer service will propel your company above the competition and your sales will soar!” Her passion to start her own company and to assist businesses, teens, and others seeking to better themselves came after she could not return to work after a near fatal car accident. She decided to do for small businesses what she had been doing for large corporations for years. To develop and place LEADERS in businesses. She turned her passion into her business. Currently she trains business owners, managers, and frontline workers. Kayl also conducts training classes for teens and young adults entering into the job markets. Skills taught in her classes, ignites attendees to carry the knowledge with them throughout their careers. They also receive a Certificate of Completion. Her passion is to train ex-prisoners to assist them with the tools necessary to hold jobs and make a better future for themselves after serving their time.

(founder Keesha Rivers) on Instinct Radio (Producer Jack Tre and co-Producer Ynette Keith). Download the INSTINCT RADIO app today to watch each show live. Kayl also host a live forum along with her co-host from “Success Radio” “The Movement Forward-Lets Stop The Violence” every other month. Kayl is a mentor of 50+ young adults and 6 teenagers which fulfills her passion of helping others grow into their greatness personally and professionally. You can reach Kayl at or visit my website for bookings and all other information at Http:// KaylMayTheCustomerServiceCoach.Info You can also follow Kayl on all social media platforms at Kayl May (Instagram & Periscope KaylRMay) Kayl’s mantra: I AM a Businesswoman, Publisher, Mentor with leadership and compassion, a Radio a Personality, and a Inspirational Speaker with the love of God. These are the words that edify me. I AM WHAT I SPEAK! ■

Make-Up purchased at: Magazine-Radio Host She would also like to work with corporate America, specifically Walmart and Kroger’s, to place leaders in young America with the basics of customer service which as consumers we see is missing the most. While keeping up with her busy schedules, taking care of her elderly father, and enjoying her newborn twin grandsons, she has written the first of many books. Kayl says, “The first book is on my life story. Titled “The Unveiling of a Mask” which describes my family’s life story that turned into a love story with the subtitle of “A Love Kissed by God’s own lips”. Kayl is a motivational SPEAKER inspiring others to rise up and reach higher levels in all areas of life. Kayl is a RADIO PERSONALITY with TWO shows. The 1st is “Success Radio” with 3 other awesome ladies every 2nd Sunday discussing important topics to help rise up our communities. The 2nd show is “Messages Of Love” everything love and relationships. Both shows are hosted by The FlaVoreAideRadioShow


In Search of Happiness I listen to this song every day on the way to work. I remember there was a time that I was seeking happiness. Either happiness was hiding from me or didn’t want any parts of my life! My quest was a result of many years of people pleasing and approval seeking on every level about draining! Let me tell you in case you didn’t know…draining and happiness can never live under the same roof. Sometimes we become so caught up in our way of living that we 1) Lose sight of just how long we’ve been indulging in the unhealthy behavior. 2) Lose sight of what really makes us happy. 3) Wonder how we ever got to this point in life. When routine yields negativity on any level, red flags should immediately go up…a sure sign that change definitely needs to take place! However, change can be a hard pill to swallow for some. When fighting the urge to change, remember this…insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If one doesn’t incorporate change…things remain the same! You must change your actions, ways of thinking, maybe even change the company you keep and those you keep in your circle, in order to obtain true happiness. At the same time, you need to take a really long hard look at the person staring you back in the mirror. There’s an unfortunate truth, that sometimes we stand in our own way of being happy!

I just wanna be happy But if I keep on doing the things That keep on bringing me pain There’s no one else I can blame If I’m not happy Wasted time but now I can see The biggest enemy it was me So I’m not happy - Wanna Be Happy? Kirk Franklin

I challenge you to embrace positive change in every area of your life. Remove that which makes you unhappy (that might actually mean removing yourself from certain people and environments) and obtain that happiness that is your birthright!!! You only live once…you might as well live life to the fullest...with no regrets! ■ Brianna D. Screen


Manifest your magic with former MTV Host, Author and Life Coach Abiola Abrams

Manifest Your Magic with Former MTV Host , Author and Life Coach


When I think about this month’s cover, Abiola Abrams, there are quite a few words and phrases that come to mind. Empowering, uplifting, inspiring, driven, lover of self yet selfless, giver of much, a voice of reason during chaos, influencer, beautiful, talented, gifted, and a woman of God, just to name a few. I am sooooo thrilled to interview Abiola Abrams, she’s not only a remarkable person, but she is a dear friend and has served as a mentor and coach to me for many years. Self-Worth Revolutionary Abiola Abrams is an award-winning author, transformational speaker and coach, ESSENCE advice columnist, spiritual teacher and TV lifestyle expert seen on networks from MTV to the BBC. With soul care and strategy, her work empowers spirit-centered women leaders to stop playing small, answer their callings and become the women they were born to be. Abiola’s mindset reset empowerment tools range from purpose-filled books, meditation albums and goddess affirmation cards to her Spiritpreneur School podcast, womanifesting courses and the Abundance Pray Love Retreat in Bali. Join Abiola’s Spiritpreneur Warrior Sisterhood at for guidance in selflove, self-launch and self-creation. Abiola is interviewing with us just hours after she landed in London, England for one of her client’s lingerie launch! Kudos to her for taking the time to chat with us.

Women’s Circles have always been places for healing, transformation and manifestation. BFM: Hello Abiola, we are just ecstatic about this interview with you. You are what I refer to as a Queen who wears many hats and you wear them well. Tell us how you got started with your coaching and speaking profession. Abiola: Thank you! I got started as a coach and a speaker, really by working in television first. As a television broadcaster, I was often giving interviews and I wasn’t a big time broadcaster, but a small time broadcaster doing hosting on smaller TV shows. People would ask me for my advice and I was giving my advice and was constantly being invited to speak at different schools and universities... so I decided to get my coaching certification. BFM: Your book, “The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love” was the winner for Best Self-Help book of 2014. I have to add, you were up against some of the industries finest: T.D.Jakes, Iyanala Vanzant and Russel Simmons to name a few…. I think that’s amazing. Tell us more about your book? Abiola: Yep! (Laughs) Well Thank you Tinzley, it was absolutely an honor… really to just be nominated in that category! But to win was a beautiful and unexpected surprise! “The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love” is the self-love guide that I’d wished always existed. While I was working with my clients, I wanted them to have a baseline textbook that would help them to learn tactics, techniques and methods of self-love, self-care and how to get out of their own way!! That’s what the book is. “The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love” is about how to stop playing small and really step into your power as a woman. BFM: Wow, what a statement! What has been some of your greatest accomplishments? I know there are 24

many but which ones have stood out the most? Abiola: It definitely was a huge accomplishment to win Best Self-Help at the African American Literary awards against so many people that I admire. That was an extreme accomplishment. I also count other accomplishments that are really big, you know like little things that you would never see on my website or resume. The celebrations of my clients I count as accomplishments. Like for example, everything that you have accomplished Tinzley and right now I’m in London to support the launch of one of my clients, Sadia Sisay is launching “Being You” her lingerie brand made by women of color for women of color. I’m so proud of her and I’m very involved in the launch. So those things have been very big accomplishments for me. One thing that has been an unexpected surprise and a huge accomplishment as well is the success of my Goddess Affirmation cards deck. I first created the African Goddess affirmation cards because I wanted cards that were positive and that looked like us! The response has been so huge, so I created a second deck called the Womanifesting Fertility Goddess affirmation cards and then I have another deck that’s going to be coming out this year. Because the cards have been such a success in addition to my meditation albums and my E-Courses, I consider all of those to be great accomplishments. BFM: I looked at your site and I must say you are beyond a triple threat. How does it feel to be living your dream? Abiola: You know it feels really amazing and I’m learning more and more every day, that we always feel like there’s a place where we feel like “ I made it” and we’re constantly making it every day because

it’s about re-inventing the wheel. It’s about being the best that we can every day no matter who we are, so I never feel like I’m sitting unrest on my morals and saying okay you know I’m done, but it does feel wonderful to be living my dream. BFM: How do you handle the critics? I’m sure you can agree that with fame comes the haters. Have you experienced jealousy firsthand from friends and/or family? Abiola: I have experienced a lot of hater-ration from folks that I don’t know. But I have to be honest, any hater-ration in terms of friends or family, I am swift with the cut off! (laughs) I have no room in my life for any of that. At one point, I was a people pleaser and I’d try to justify things. I had a male family member call me a bitch, only because I was on a TV show, I never did anything to him in my life but he suddenly started yelling at me at a family event telling me “You think you’re all that, you’re a bitch” blah blah blah blah! I’d never had beef with him before in my life, he’s a very close family member and for years I shut him down, cut him off and never spoke to him again. I only recently forgave him and it was interesting, because the day after I forgave him, the day after I made a clear decision that I heard from God and that I needed to forgive him, he had a hospital emergency procedure so it’s very interesting. In terms of friends… the same thing, they quickly became ex-friends so the beautiful thing is I have incredible friends and family in my life who are very supportive and who are rooting for me and I’m rooting for them as well.

we’re unlovable and that we’re unworthy in so many ways. Those are not the voices to listen to. Listen to the strong voices inside you that say to you, “you are worthy.” You are worthy of being loved, honored, cherished and deserved and if somebody is not trying to step to you with that kind of energy of love, then peace! ( laughs) BFM: What do you want your legacy to be? Abiola: I want my legacy to be; you know, me leaving behind motivational, inspirational and transformational tools that make women live their best lives and I want people to be like “Okay she inspired me to live my dreams, she inspired me to step into my greatness, she inspired me to stop playing small and really rise up to the greatness of my dreams.”

BFM: I write about Settle-Free dating which means pretty much, you aren’t settling for any old mediocre relationship. Are you currently in a relationship? If so, what are your views on not settling for less? How can one avoid ending up in a dead-end, toxic relationship? Abiola: Ooooh I was just talking about this yesterday on Karen Hunter’s Sirius XM Radio Show and I was saying that if you’re in a bad relationship with someone, it’s because you’re in a bad relationship with yourself. So the best way to avoid ending up in a dead-end toxic relationship is to take care of yourself, to know what you deserve. We hear so many voices as women telling us that we’re less than, especially as black women and that basically


you going in a business where there’s just so much competition?

BFM: Do you mentor children, teens and young adults? Do you have any children of your own? If not, any plans on starting a family someday? Abiola: Actually I don’t have any children yet, but I have just decided recently that about a year from now that I am going to adopt. Yes, I can see myself having one or two little girls who I adopt and I’m really excited about that. I am a mentor to people of all ages, but specifically in terms of working professionally with teens and young adults, I used to but I got very specific in the past couple of years about who I serve directly so I do a lot of speaking with young adults in terms of colleges and universities and occasionally at high schools. I’ve spoken at middle schools, so I can say whenever I’m speaking to young adults it’s usually an educational environment and I love it, I love it. It really really makes me s beyond happy! BFM: Have you ever wanted to just quit? What keeps


Abiola: Have I ever wanted to quit? Ummm... yeah, absolutely, you know I think if we’re human and sometimes things didn’t seem like they were working or when I went back into the lab to revamp things, I did feel like okay maybe I should quit this but I’m so glad that I didn’t. Now I’ve figured out how to live my dreams and also make money at the same time. We seem to feel like talking about money is a taboo topic to discuss, but one of the things I’ve been focusing on with my coaching clients from the beginning is helping them to bring in more money faster, helping them to serve their clients and their audience, but helping them also to have the abundance to support themselves financially so then they are feeling less likely that they want to quit because they’re answering they’re calling but then they are also making their own wealth and abundance. What keeps me going in a business with so much competition? I don’t really see competition, I think that we each have our own lane, even if we’re doing the exact same thing, we each have our own lane. It’s like if you look at why are there so many doctors? Or why are there so many lawyers? It’s because we need all of them and so the same thing with coaches and so while there may be a million people coaching on what I coach, they can’t do it in the same way that I do. So my spirit-preneurs and my sacred bombshells will come to me or they will go to different people for different reasons. If you specify who you are and what you teach, there is no competition! BFM: On a scale of 1% to 100%, what percentage of people would you say are dealing with self-confidence issues? What can you suggest a person do to start to feel better about life’s adversities and themselves? Abiola: I would say a lot of people are dealing with self-confidence issues, probably a full 75%. I know that’s a big number, but I think that it ranges from little self-confidence issues to where somebody may not be able to speak up to their boss or they’re afraid to ask for a raise or they feel like well why is the guy who sits behind me making more money than me and we do the same job? (The person) may be afraid to speak to their partner when they think they are

being cheated on or done wrong and they don’t have the courage to speak up. Or they may not have the confidence to live their dreams and say here’s who I am. A lot of people have written to me over the years in my Essence column and said they feel like they are struggling with their sexually and are afraid to come out to their family and all of those are various levels of self-confidence issues. I too have confidence issues, I have anxiety when it comes to certain things but what you have to do is build yourself up so that you know you are on the right path. So a few of the things I can suggest people do if they want to feel better about themselves is:

of the things that I want to eventually do is write a young people’s version of “The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-love.” This would be a great way to motivate our young people because they need to know that they are enough!

Make a list of everything that is amazing about you.

Abiola: Absolutely, If you want to be a coach, work with a coach. This way you can see how it works and what it’s about and if you’re expecting people to invest in your services and you don’t invest in yourself then you’re not really going to have the courage to put yourself out there so definitely work with a coach. Also take some classes or work with a coach in your specific niche in addition to working

Cut off all the people in your life who are negative towards you, If you already feel bad about yourself you don’t need people reflecting that back. Start to hang around new people who are positive and who have good thoughts about you and about themselves.

BFM: Yes you are right about that. So many young people are losing their way because they just don’t feel like they are good enough. I think a younger version of your book will be fantastic! If someone reading this article wanted to start doing what you are doing today, what are you top five tips for them to get started? Do you recommend a coach for beginners?

Stop asking for people to accept you who don’t accept themselves. Stop asking for people to believe in you who don’t believe in themselves. (This is something that we do a lot.) Start doing different self-care practices, like my Goddess affirmation cards, some form of meditation, or books like mine or even some other books that were nominated for the African American Literary Award. Re-enforce your comfort zone and how you feel about who you are. BFM: These are some outstanding tips, thank you Abiola! You’ve hosted a few very popular shows on very popular networks such as BET and MTV, I personally remember you from MTV’s “Made.” How was that experience? Abiola: That experience was awesome. I got to work with a young man named Austin on his courage and his confidence and him being able to have more confidence with women, it was amazing. We filmed in Atlanta, we were down there for about 6 weeks and it was such a positive experience. One


award-winning author, advice columnist, motivational speaker, and certified life coach

with a business coach to help your build your business. Another thing I can suggest is for you to be very specific about your business structure. A lot of coaches just jump in and don’t have a business strategy in place. Be very clear about who you are, what makes you unique in the marketplace and be very clear about who you serve and who your ideal clients are. If you are a coach, make sure you build passive income streams so you can make money in your sleep. I’m offering life coach tools in a box, visit my site and contact me for further details. BFM: It’s been a pleasure speaking to you and thanks for taking the time to let us in your world? Where can people find you to connect and stay in touch?

com. If you are interested in my affirmation cards and my books, my courses or my meditation albums just go to Thank you Good Bye! You can follow Abiola on Instagram and Twitter at Abiolatv, and on facebook at Abiola Abrams Abiolatv Thank you very much for letting us into your world Abiola.You’re an amazing woman doing amazing things. It was an honor! ■ Tinzley Bradford (The Love Mama)

Abiola: Yay! I have a free gift for your audience. It’s my new meditation album called Chakras on Fleek. Go to, put in the password LIFELOVESME in all I caps and you’ll be able to access that meditation lbum. I have a few exciting things coming up I want to share. I have the Abundance Pray Retreat going to Bali, Indonesia, you can learn more about that at I have and a monthly support group at www.manifestyourmagic. • • 28

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Fitness Spotlight

Glamour Girls 32

AFFIRMATIONS • I am in charge of my body and I can change it at any time. • I am healthy and my body is responsive. • E ven small changes in my life are big achievements. • I am making a positive change for ME! • I CAN do it! • T his is NOT the hardest thing I’ve ever done. • I know that when I look better, I will absolutely feel better. • I can transform my body through eating right and exercising. • I am absolutely capable of attaining my goal. I CAN AND I WILL - NO MORE EXCUSES!!!

This year, focus on being your “best self.” I want my Glamour Girls to be their “best self” because I truly feel FABULOUS inside and out and I want you to as well! I want you to focus on living your best life – a healthy life with confidence that helps you feel fabulous on the inside and out…body, mind and spirit. This is your heart to heart from Coach Jackie to do a self-evaluation of your New Year’s Goal and it is time for your checkup. Are you sticking to your weight loss plan or are you compromising? I hope you have not lost your determination. The excitement of what a New Year has to offer has not completely left and spring will soon be in full effect. The weather will be heating up but it is not too late to get back in the game

if you deviated a little. Remember, it only takes a willing mind. Once you control your mind you can conquer your body! If not now…when? At this quarterly checkup, I want to give you some affirmations to focus on and repeat when you start to feel overwhelmed by what may seem like a faraway goal. Every day is a new beginning…take a deep breath and start again. Believe that success is your only option and only surround yourself with those who challenge you, push you and motivate you. ■ Jackie Madison

Be happy. Feel sexy. Look great. Remember, commitment is a choice. Your fitness is 100% mental so turn your intentions into actions. The sooner you commit to going NONSTOP until you reach your goal, the shorter the journey will be. Commit to getting it done! I promise you it will ALL be worth it! It certainly has been for me. Coach Jackie t: 404-274-7586 • e: • w.


One of the greatest advantages of living in the 21st century is all of the alternative healing options we have available, Reiki being one of them.

Dr. Mikao Usui founded the Reiki system of natural healing in 1922. He describes it in this poem:

Reiki is love Love is wholeness Wholeness is balance Balance is well-being Well-being is freedom from disease Remember these words, they represent that which is Reiki.

Rei-universal life force Ki-energy Reiki is a Japanese word that means, universal life force energy. This energy is universal, meaning it’s within all of us and makes up everything. Often, the Ki within our bodies becomes blocked by the stress of everyday life and stops flowing properly. This stress causes chronic tension, pain and weakens the immune system, making us more susceptible to illness. Reiki reactivates the natural energy in the body, releasing these blocks caused by stress or injury, and strengthening the immune system. The body is capable of healing itself, and Reiki accelerates this healing process. Reiki’s not only an alternative healing treatment but also supplements traditional medicine by working on the cause of the illness. For example, when you feel sick, you go to the doctor. The doctor writes you a prescription that takes away the symptoms and makes you feel temporarily better. But then the pain or illness comes back. Reiki works on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies to heal the cause of your sickness or pain, so your symptoms stop coming back. Reiki is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on energy healing technique. During a session, you’ll lie on your back, fully clothed on a massage table while you receive Reiki from your practitioner. Also, since Reiki is universal, it can be performed long distance, even animals benefit from the healing energy as well. Typical benefits of a session include stress relief, pain relief, clarity of mind, focus and healing of sicknesses or injuries. You’ll experience total relaxation, and may fall asleep or drift in and out of consciousness. A Reiki session will leave you relaxed, rejuvenated and rebalanced in body, mind and Spirit! ■ Noelle Abent



The Boss Lady of Foot Fashion!

JESSICA P. Jessica Pringle is the proud owner of Beautiful Boss by Jessica P. She loves empowering women to be the BOSS of their lives starting from the feet up. Jessica P (which she prefers to be called) has always been into fashion. When she was younger, her mother would take her shopping and she always wanted the better looking (and most expensive!) things… so her mom quit shopping for her! Jessica P’s passion for fashion turned into a drive for business. Although the idea of majoring in fashion merchandising was intriguing, Jessica P knew she wanted to create a profitable venture with a lasting legacy. Therefore, she obtained her Bachelors degree in Management from South Carolina State University and Masters Degree in Management and Leadership at Webster University.

Combining her theoretical knowledge with her fashion savvy from years of loving to look great, Jessica founded Beautiful Boss by Jessica P. She has had the honor of being featured in several magazines that include Jack Thriller, Lov3rz, and Swagher… and now BOLD +PLUS! Jessica P’s success continues to grow: her designs will soon be featured in a prominent rapper’s video (shhhhh… it’s a surprise!), and a California modeling agency has agreed to feature her designs for photo shoots and runway shows! In 2017, Jessica will be grinding hard to continue to network and build long lasting relationships until her brand is a national sensation! ■ • follow her on Instagram @bbbyjessicap


Hosted by Surrender 365, Inc and the Latter Rain Cathedral

LaToya Fonville

All inclusive retreat stay includes: 5 Meals, 2 Night Accommodations, Transformational Seminars, Holy Yoga, Guided Walk, Breakout Sessions, Hay Rides and the Fire Pit Experience!

Omiana Muller

Sherrell Moore-Tucker

Chereace Richards

All proceeds go to benefit Surrender 365, Inc. the charity arm of Dr. Celeste Owens Ministries.

Dr. Cozzette Lyons Jones

Lady Chanelle Mann

Surrender Healing Retreat for Women Retreat hosts First Lady Malinda Chisholm and Dr. Celeste Owens

April 28-30, 2017 • Black Rock Retreat, Quarryville, PA

$450 $400

$500 $450

Early Bird Registration ends 12/31/16

general Registration ends 4/14/17





register online at

Resturant Review

1371 Clairmont Rd Decatur, Atlanta Georgia 30033 Tuesday – Friday: 5:30 - 10pm • Saturday: 11:30am – 10pm • Sunday: 11:30am – 9pm • 404-963-2322 First off...Happy new year to you fellow foodies!! I normally do not hang out for New Years Eve, that’s usually a time that I’m in my pajamas with a cup of special eggnog with family devouring some home cooked goodies. This year I stayed in Atlanta and didn’t have any real celebration plans except maybe doing some Uber/Lyft driving. One day leading up to the holidays, I was scrolling through my social media timeline and noticed an event invite from a good friend (thank you Charlette Clark) for New Years Eve (NYE) with some adult jazz entertainment in Decatur AND I was hoping for some scrumptious dining. I ended up at Mason Tavern and oh what a laid back, romantic ambiance. This place is great for gathering with friends or that first date. Sam Yi is who you need to contact for your Churchill Grounds Jazz group inquiries, they’ve recently joined with Mason Tavern to give you a weekly jazz injection called the “pop up jazz” series. I had a chance to meet the owner, Kabeer Shiv Khurana and his wife, Stephanie as they mingled with all of the guests - what a positive vibe! 38

I was in the mood for a simple delicious meal and at first was in the mind of maybe some salmon and asparagus with a glass of know something tasty that included seafood to tickle the taste buds. I checked out the menu and I heard the angels sounds when I saw my pick. My meal consisted of: • Shrimp and Cheddar Grits • cheddar grits/shrimp/tomato jus • Glass of chardonnay The menu description sounds really simple but I promise you that it’s way more delectable! Being from the third coast part of Texas, seafood and southern soul food cuisine go hand in hand and when I see something on a menu in either category I REALLY need to sample it. I swear to you this dish is more like a play on red beans and rice with a little heat and some awesome spices. I left my shrimp last to devour just so they could soak up as much “jus” as possible. The only thing I would’ve added was a small piece of sweet corn bread...southern comfort at its finest!

In the libations area, we got a glass of champagne for the midnight toast (tasty) AND I also got a chance to sample the St George Absinthe. I’m a vampire fan and this is the drink of choice in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” so I had to try it. It’s definitely an acquired taste and is wise to drink with a sugar cube to calm the bite. They also have a very nice selection of local beers and wines if you are in the mood for it.

Mason Tavern - 1371 Clairmont Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30033 - is open for late night dining, follow them on social media to receive updates but more importantly please go sample some of their delicious cuisine. I’m out on the road quite a bit late nights as an Uber/Lyft driver and am always looking for a good healthy meal so I will definitely be back to sample the rest of the menu.

Hats off to GM Joseph Sommers and the chefs in the kitchen! On my way out, I saw that another customer had ordered what looked to be chocolate mousse for dessert and I definitely have to head back to experience that. I love chocolate! (and cheese).

Oh my my...what a way to start 2017! As always, Happy Dining! [overall] Score: 10

On my Eatery Scale of 1-10 (1-awful 5-acceptable 10-awesome), I rate this meal as a 10.

Keep up with foodie events in Atlanta and surrounding cities with our monthly newsletter -sign up and stay connected. ■ Nissa K

all the way to the uk with media influencer

jenni steele

Who is this redhead beauty, Jenni Steele? I was intrigued by the many hats she wears and wanted to know “How does she do it?” She’s a media influencer, a producer, a broadcast journalist, an International entertainment correspondent and a National Ambassador for Domestic Violence UK (DVUK). She recently added acting to her portfolio, so triple threat is just an understatement! Sit back and learn more from one of United Kingdom’s finest, Jenni Steele! She definitely “Steele Got It!”

Twitter: Jenni_Lioness • Instagram: OfficialJenniSteele nstagram: RedHeadProductionsOffice

BFM. Jenni, tell us more about the Jenni Steele Foundation. How did you start it? Steele. I created my foundation based around meeting young creatives who wanted work experience and mentoring in the creative industry which I am in. The best way to support them was to create a foundation that offers what they need in all areas. I had my opportunity to shine in the industry because of other people and I wanted to offer the same to the next generation. The creative industry is very difficult to get in to. They need the experience and skills to get there foot in the door.

touch. When the auditions came up, I applied. I did some acting a few years ago. I played a therapist called Dr. Jenner, my character had a twist and what a twist she had... what an amazing experience, the women I worked with were so welcoming from the day I arrived from London. BFM. Sounds exciting, Any plans on future acting roles? Steele. Yes! I have had a few scripts since landing back in the UK, along with some management interest. Fingers crossed, I will be on the tour with Lipstick Monologues in March.

BFM. We did some digging and noticed you were cast in a recent stage production, Lipstick Monologues. How did that connection happen? What was your character about?

BFM. You have quite a bit going on, which is amazing, tell us how are you able to balance it all without losing your mind? (Laughs)

Steele. Oh yes, the highlight of 2016. I met Ardre Orie earlier in the year when I took part as a lead runner in The Beautiful Mile (a beauty walk and empowerment experience). We made a connection and stayed in

Steele. I am a mother first, plus a Glam-Ma, so I map my work out around the family and everything I do comes back to inspiring and motivating people. We can do and be anything we put our minds too.


BFM. Wow, you... a Glam-Ma? No way!! Who would you say is your biggest idol? We all have one. What celebrities have you met with all your red carpet work and who was your favorite? Steele. I don’t have any idols.To be honest, I am my children’s biggest fan! Oprah is an amazing woman who I would like to sit down and have a conversation with. I am inspired by people who have faced adversity and have come out the other side and are supporting others. I am motivated by real people who are making changes in the world for others. Idris Elba has been one of the bigger names that I met on the red carpet, what a character. Blaque Ivory (the singing group), who I caught up with on my last trip to the ATL. Singer Bridget Kelly was in London recently, a warm spirit and beautiful inside and out. Over the coming weeks, Lioness, Teedra Moses is booked and she will be in town (London) soon. Oh and one artist to watch is Malachi Kirby, an actor from London who played a lead in Roots recently, is a humble young man who is going to go far in his industry. BFM. You’re a gorgeous beauty from the UK, we know the men go crazy when they see you, so what’s your love life like these days? Anyone special? Steele. Awww that’s nice. Thank You! I am single... I am starting to think I scare men with my confidence or is it my fire red hair (laughing). Seriously, let’s make it clear, it would be great to have a partner to share and grow with. BFM. I’m a Relationship Coach and a huge advocate for women making wise dating choices and I write about settle-free dating, how important is refusing to settle in a relationship to you? Steele. I am National Ambassador of DVUK and I create a range of relationship, confidence, self-love and empowerment programs for young people and on occasion for women. I view Relationships differently after my teen experience with DV (domestic violence). I know I am worthy of more than what the men I have been on dates with are offering, otherwise, I would not still be single. So every now and then I stop dating. I don’t have a problem with not settling it’s probably 42

why I have been single so long, I am not settling for just anyone! I feel like men and women need to view themselves as if you was dating yourself, would you be happy to date you? Then the next time you ask someone on a date, remember that! BFM. We’re intrigued by the work you do for domestic violence victims and survivors, as well as your speaking events for the youth. How did you get into this kind of work? Steele. As a teenager. I was involved in a DV relationship. I spent a few years rebuilding my confidence, my life and my self-worth with the support of counselling. I created healthy relationship programs to assist and support others. Then 3 years ago I was head hunted by DVUK to become a certified National Ambassador. I have been creating my own programs and raising more awareness in schools and colleges plus launching money making campaigns ever since. A legacy has been created with the work I do in the area of DV. There are two books out so far that have my work stamped in them, one for teen girls “Letters to a Young Generation” and ‘Wounds to Wisdom’ is my chapter about rebuilding your life and confidence. The support has been amazing. The book is a bestseller on Amazon and is available personally from each of us (in the book). BFM. So what’s next for you? What can we expect to see from you in the near future? Any planned trips to the US? We’d love a face to face someday! Steele. I visited the USA four times in 2016. Each time for business, I will be back for more in 2017. I hear Lipstick Monologues is in Chicago, watch this space. I am open to offers America! It would be great to cover the BET Awards or NAACP Image Awards’ red carpet. BFM. It’s been such an honor chatting with you Jenni and thanks for letting us into your world. Where can people connect with you? ■ Tinzley Bradford (The Love Mama)

"empower your growth"




? in·flu·ence WHAT IS


INFLUENCE IS POWER – The power to motivate,

sell, and be more effective, more potent and more productive. Influence is a subtle skill, a more refined approach than the use of authority or coercion. You get the results you want while allowing others to get the results they want. When done the right way, it’s a winwin.

“power to affect change, or to achieve a result, without the use of force or formal authority.”

We define Influence as the “power to affect change, or to achieve a result, without the use of force or formal authority.” This means that in order to be truly influencing, you must cause a change in another’s behavior, actions, attitudes or values. In some cases, the desired effect might not be immediately apparent, as in changing attitudes. ....................................... What Influence is not: Influence - It’s not just “good communication skills” - Communications skills are only one part of the equation in getting others to do what you want them to do. To achieve enthusiastic cooperation and consistently high performances, successful influencers use a carefully orchestrated strategic approach. It’s not (necessarily) “manipulation. The word “influence” is often maligned, especially in government, and thought to connote manipulation (we often hear the term “influence peddling”) Is there a difference, or is the use of “influence” just another way of saying “manipulation”?

A way to distinguish between the two is that while “manipulation”, strictly speaking, means “skillful handling” an interaction can be said to be a positive influence when the influencer has the intention to provide value, add a benefit or enhance the experience of the other person. It can be called “manipulation” if there is an intention to exploit or mislead the other or to misrepresent the product or service. Positive influence has as its result a “win-win” outcome. Both parties in the transaction reach their goals and sometimes even exceed them. We want to make sure that people practice positive influence effectively - and positively achieve the results they want! ■ Elaina Zucker



MOVING FORWARD Most of America and many countries around the world were stunned by Donald Trump’s win in the General Election this past November and becoming America’s 45th President. Did he win because of his campaign’s Electoral College strategy; his directness and/or promises made on the campaign trail? Or was it the voters’ absolute refusal to vote for Hillary Clinton or just didn’t vote at all? Many people are asking: How do we move forward with a president who lashes out on Twitter about comments and opinions, or negative polls made about him; appoints or recommends people in his administration that many Americans feel that are not qualified or reflect what America stands on; enforcing a travel ban affecting Muslim immigrants; calling the press fake news - albeit Fox News is cool in his eyes - and forcing Mexico to build a wall to keep their people from crossing over to the US,etc? We may never understand the outcome of the election or why almost 63 million Americans voted for Donald Trump, but as it stands today he is our President, whether we like it or not. How do we move forward? We have to hold President Trump and his administration accountable, no matter what comes from it. More than ever we have to email and call our legislators when we don’t agree or do agree with their policies. We have to continue to hold peaceful marches, stay informed, ask questions and speak up. And while we are doing that, we can’t forget what’s going on in our communities, local and state government systems. We hear all the time that local politics matter and it is true. Local policies influence our state leaders to introduce and pass legislation based on what is going on in their districts and in their state, and state policies and legislation that are approved, influence federal policies.

Municipal elections are this year and the mid-term elections are coming up in 2018. It’s time to rebuild. As leaders and those that care about America moving forward, we have to ensure there are have viable candidates for city council, mayor, state legislature, governor and Congress lined up and winning across this nation. Democrats must find a way to balance or take control of congress and make sure Donald Trump does not have a “blank check” to do what he wants. Republicans, who have been good at turning out voters every 2 years, must hold their leaders accountable for putting forth legislation, that we know is detrimental, just for party politics. It is time to stop playing politics and make sure politicians are held to a higher degree and are forced to do their elected job. Democrats, need to stop focusing on the Presidential loss and find candidates who can win in November, 2018. There has to be a message that resonates with voters on how important participating in mid-term and municipal elections is and why their vote matters. The legislative body should reflect the community. Also, Democrats must recruit and train a viable candidate to run against Trump in 2020, as do Republicans in the 2020 Presidential Primary. That starts now. If America could talk, what would she say about the state we are in? Would she give it a high approval rating or not? It is imperative that people do not lose sight of what’s ahead of us. We are just getting started. More than ever America needs us and we need each other. We’ve come too far to turn back, even though we have many more miles to go, we can definitely leave a positive mark on history and for our children. This is the time to work together and do whats right for the soul of America. As leaders, elected officials, citizens and voters. ■ David & Myesha Good


I recently received a message from a young lady who was a little embarrassed to admit, but she was considering dating a married man and wanted to know my opinion on the matter. Ladies I have to be very candid when talking about this subject! If he is married, then he is NOT available, so don’t you even think about messing around with him! Below are a few things you need to consider if you’re ever tempted to date a married man. Trust me it’s not as warm and fuzzy as it may seem.

Girl Don’t You Do It!

how messing around with a married man can break you down! #SettleFree •

FaceBook@MenWomenAndDating • Twitter@tinzleyb • IG@tinzleyb • Periscope@tinzley

Married men made a decision when they took those vows and married their wife. I’m sorry, but if his wife is no longer pleasing him, then it’s not your duty to do it, yet she gets to continue to reap the title and benefits of wifey while you are just a chic on the side who he only deals with when it’s convenient for him. Girl don’t you do it! She’s not going anywhere anytime soon, are you okay with that? If he hasn’t left her by now…. Guess what he ain’t leaving her for you! You didn’t know? You’re just a piece of tail to him and he uses you at his disposal. He’ll make you fall madly in love with him until you begin to overlook the fact that he’s really not that into you, he’s just doing the bare minimum to keep you right on his radar until he gets bored at home again. Girl don’t You Do It!

I got a pretty good quote from an article I read that talks about dating a married man and what to expect. Here goes…..” Men never put their relationships first. At least moderately successful men don’t. That is why they are happier than women are. Women have a tendency to meet a guy and then focus their entire lives on him. They will stop thinking about or put business plans on hold after meeting someone who sweeps them off their feet.” (Source: Randy Salgado) Have you ever noticed this? I mean seriously noticed this? Married men always seem happier because they are getting the best of both worlds. Great sex from their mistress and the appearance of a balanced, stable family from his wife. In my opinion, this should never happen and if it does, you’ve fallen too deep! Get out right away while you still have your sanity! Girl Don’t you do it!

You know better and you should be ashamed of yourself because you know that this married guy is already having issues with his wife at home, so why are you going to come in and make matters worse? He’s never going to love you the way he loves the woman he chose to marry so don’t you dare think for a minute you have the upper hand, simply because y’all are meeting after dark to screw! He’s not in love with you…. He’s in lust with you and the moment you start to expect or demand more time, he’ll more than likely get defensive and begin to blame you for being too emotional. He won’t care how deep you’ve fallen, all he knows is he doesn’t want to argue or deal with your feelings, he just wants to get his rocks off! Girl don’t you do it!

Think about it, when you’re living a settle-free life, which is the life I speak highly about living, the last thing you should ever do is settle for being second or better yet third. You are a gift from God and you deserve a man who is available to love you the way you should and need to be loved; not a man who is going to tear your spirit down the moment you cry out for affection! That is not love. I don’t care what he has to say, love is kind and it is not easily angered. If he gets mad and defensive, he’s mostly mad because you’re calling him out on his shortcomings and he knows the screwing just might stop afterward. Don’t let him continue to use you for his own pleasure and leave you hanging on strings. Girl don’t you do it!

You need to make sure you go out on dates with single and available men, no matter what he says, because clearly, he’s not willing to give up his current situation for you, so why should you place all your love and affection on a man you know has an obligation to his wife and kids? He’s not going to just go home and say to his wife “baby I met someone else, so I’ll be hanging out with her periodically.” He won’t ever say that. You’re going to continue to be a secret and you’d better not question him for more of his time and affection because if you do, he’ll view you as a liability and more than likely dump you for another chic on the side who doesn’t question him or seem to care if he commits to her! Girl don’t you do it!

After you fall deeply in love with him and you start to get use to him calling you daily, texting you constantly with sweet loving messages and showing mad interest in you, the moment all of that stops, you are going to feel broken! You’re gong to question your worth and he’s going to make you feel like you’re the problem for questioning him and he will say he just doesn’t have time to cater to your emotions. It will be hard to break away from, it’s going to hurt and now you’re sad, lonely and depressed over a man who still gets to go home and hunch his wife! Girl don’t you do it!

Love doesn’t hurt. If he’s putting blame on you for simply needing and wanting more of his time and attention then it’s not love. Love is sacrifice...meaning he will go through great lengths to prove his love, no matter how busy he is. You will never feel lonely or abandoned. He’ll make sure of that! If you don’t want to end up hurt, used and disrespected in the end then…. Girl don’t you do it!

There are tons and tons of reasons why messing with a married man should be off-limits, even if he claims things between him and his wife are “Complicated.” Let him work on those complications before you proceed to date him. I know you may be thinking, “well how does she know all of this?” I speak not only from experience but from observations of those who are currently in this mess right now! I’m going to tell it like it is. If you ever feel tempted to date a man who is married and unavailable to you. GIRL DON’T YOU DO IT! ■



Women Living Their Dreams

GIVING BACK IN A BOLD WAY: Advocacy that Unleashes Potential

These philanthropic women empower the silent, forgotten, and neglected members of society; by lifting up communities, healing old wounds, and teaching tolerance and acceptance.

if you show her what to do, then she can do it,

Shavonda McCaleb does more than speak the language of the deaf, she taps into children’s unlimited potential by removing the invisible barriers and obstacles to their growth and ultimate success.

My daughter is smart:

“I just want them to have a normal life. Am I Superwoman? Absolutely not, but I put on my cape every day,” said McCaleb, founder of the Positively Impacting Communities Foundation (PIC). “If I can make a difference for even one person, then it’s a job well done.” Her advocacy began when doctors discovered that her 11- month-old daughter, Camry, had been born deaf. First, she taught herself and then her daughter American Sign Language from the alphabet to finger spelling to signing words, just so that they could communicate with each other. Imagine leaving work early to catch a “chick flick” with your teen. And just as you get comfortable in your seat, about to pop a warm, chewy nugget into your mouth, your daughter taps you on the shoulder.


A Nonprofit Is Born As the opening scene blazes across the screen, you crane your neck to hear every word. Then you reach for the close captioning headset, but it’s not there. After the movie, you’re exhausted from signing every scene, and your teen is confused because the images conveyed a different story to her.

when they make certain accommodations.

Well, this mom decided to do something about it—not just for her daughter but for all those lost children who deserve the same rights as everyone else. Two years ago, she founded PIC to bridge the gap between the hearing and the deaf communities, to ensure that organizations adhere to the American Disabilities Act (ADA) that requires all public institutions to provide an in-house or video interpreter.

McCaleb use to sit through trainings and performance reviews just to interpret for her daughter. But this past summer Camry, now 20, was given a raise, and the corporate office hired an interpreter.

This staunch deaf right’s advocate has learned how to circumvent many barriers including the biggest hurdle of all for the deaf and “Hard of Hearing” community: gainful employment. She has been working tirelessly with corporate sponsors, families, and advocates to raise awareness that deaf people are employable


“It’s sad that so many deaf people are receiving Social Security benefits because they haven’t been given the opportunity to work,” noted McCaleb. “I want to prove to them if my daughter could do it, so can they.”

“My daughter is smart: if you show her what to do, then she can do it,” believes McCaleb. “The only difference between us and them is that we can hear, and they can’t.” This tenacious mom wants to show them: ‘Hey, look at my daughter, she works.’ They gave her daughter a badge designating that she is deaf, but most importantly everybody respects her, and she doesn’t get any special privileges. Posted in the break room is “the ABC’s of sign language.”

Giving Back PIC has partnered with many local businesses and corporate sponsors to fill the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf student’s backpacks with supplies. “What brings me happiness is watching the kid’s faces in August every year,” added McCaleb.

Final Thoughts Each issue I will be share philanthropic women’s lifechanging missions. I hope this encourages you to take your dream off hold. Follow and share your stories so that we can grow together! ■ Lynda Dell

Her dream is to establish a local math/reading summer camp in Georgia for deaf children. Grant money has been applied for, fundraising has begun, and preparation is underway. Even bigger than that she wants to establish a local resource center for parents to help them remove barriers and unlock their child’s potential. “I love them. I want them to know the world is filled with endless possibilities.”



(Partnering Under Real Situations Everyday)

It’s in the Bag

domestic violence charity event was held Saturday, January 28, 2017 The remarkable, valiant and warm spirited Erika Lee, founder of the P.U.R.S.E Foundation and volunteers met to gather in prayer lead by Minister Gabriel Harper of G. Harper Ministries, Inc. before serving the courageous women and children at Safe House Outreach in Atlanta, GA. Please contact the Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 if you or someone you know is in an abusive situation. Visit the website

After arriving to the private location at Safe House, volunteers sorted and separated clothing, shoes and purses filled with personal products for the women and children, while some of the other volunteers prepared breakfast. As the volunteers distributed items to these well deserving courageous woman and children, the connection between the volunteers and the residents of Safe House was amazing. Given the opportunity to unite and connect with the women and children of Safe House was an enlightening experience, as the volunteers took initiative to communicate with the women through conversation, playing with their children and holding their babies, we were honored to serve them and share comradery. I saw these women of Safe House, not women of hopelessness but women of courage, strength and heroism. As I can identify, with being a mother, a friend, a sister, a grandmother, a co-worker and a woman, most of us have been touched by someone or knew someone or knows of someone that has either been homeless, in a domestic violence situation, or a life changing experience that altered their living circumstances; which is no fault of their own. These heroic women have chosen to 58

change their circumstances by using resources and reaching out for assistance to a safe place to help themselves transition from despair to self-confidence, dependence and healing. These women are survivors. There was peace, happiness and an overwhelming sense of “gratitude” from both the volunteers and residents; we all were excited to serve them and they were ecstatic that we were there just for them. The afternoon ended with all the volunteers on Pine Street in Atlanta, GA, giving and serving to the homeless and most often forgotten lives of civilization. We handed them personal care products, hot breakfast, water, and t-shirts, as their eyes filled with joy and gratitude. Sometimes all it takes to make someone’s day is a kind smile, but to serve thy neighbor and give unselfishly may change someone’s life. Erika Lee established the P.U.R.S.E Foundation a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; after the senseless death of her college friend, Nova Henry. Erika’s own personal experience with an abusive relationship during the time of her friends death, gave her the vitality and courage to leave an unhealthy situation and




He puts you down.


He loses his temper, strikes or breaks objects.


He is extremely jealous.


She is quiet when he is around and seems afraid to make him angry.


She stops seeing her friends and family.


She has unexplained injuries.


She has casually mentioned his violent behavior, but dismissed what happened as “not a big deal.”


She cancels plans at the last minute.


He controls her finances, her behavior, what she wears, and her social life.


Her child is frequently upset, very quiet or withdrawn and won’t say why.

From the Genesis Women’s Shelter of Dallas •

The mission of P.U.R.S.E. is to Educate, Encourage & Empower teens and community members to take a stand against violence For more information on Erika Lee and the P.U.R.S.E Foundation please visit this was the catalyst for her to start her journey and mission by Being a voice against violence, Speaking up for the weak and Living her life in purpose, by helping others in contemptuous situations. Yolan Henry, Nova’s mother was carrying her purse in an article as a symbolic gesture... hence the name of the foundation P.U.R.S.E. Domestic Violence Awareness is represented by the color purple. Erika’s passion for helping others in need is unmeasurable and she has a resilient heart to serve. P.U.R.S.E. is to Stop Teen Dating Violence! P.U.R.S.E. addresses the question: What are you carrying in your purse? The purse being referred to is one that carries the concealed emotions of silent cries, quiet hurts, and

loud pains. Men and women, young and old, carry this particular item. Our lives are like purses in so many ways, even without physically carrying one. Hence, to Erykah Badu’s song “Bag Lady”. People have so many personal stories of hurt, pain and shame ... carrying all their baggage with no outlet and no resources. The weight of invisible heaviness that people carry in their purses in silence is: loneliness, depression, low self-esteem, abuse, rape, violence, fear and suicide. The mission of P.U.R.S.E. is to educate, encourage, empower teens and community members to take a stand against violence. P.U.R.S.E. is simply an issue! ■ Erica Y. Campbell


If you saw Dr. Christie Gooden-Magee from across the room, you would never guess just who she is and what she does. Her smile is infectious and joy seems to ooze out of her pores. But, behind that smile and her beautiful spirit is a master in a male-dominated field, who continues to set the pace and challenge the stereotypes about women and what women can accomplish. This woman is a surgeon, a transplant surgeon. On top of that, she is the only black female transplant surgeon in the state of Georgia. Her accolades and accomplishments could fill pages, but today you need to just sit back and get to know this phenomenal woman. Yes, get a good look. This is what a doctor looks like.


THIS is What A Doctor Looks Like: Most of her life, Dr. Gooden dreamed of being a heart surgeon. There were two major events in her life that led her down that path. The first was when she was a small child. Her father received a Ph.D. in physics and became the FIRST Dr. Gooden. On his graduation day, family members, who were in town for the celebration, were making jokes about different body parts hurting and needing him to examine them. After hearing her dad remind them that he wasn’t that kind of doctor, Christie announced to her dad, “One day, I’m gonna be the REAL Dr. Gooden.” The second event was more traumatic and directly related to her career choice. One day during her teenage years, she was at the mall with her mother when her mother announced that she wasn’t feeling well. Shortly after that, Christie’s mother passed out and Christie felt helpless as to how to help her. Paramedics were called to the scene and on a later visit to the doctor, it was discovered that her mother had high blood pressure. This experience became a lifelong motivation for her to have the education and tools to not only assist people in life threatening situations but to inform the community on preventative measures and healthy lifestyle. “I love being a surgeon. But I’d rather not see you in my OR. I have enough people to operate on. So I want people to take care of themselves so that they don’t have to see me.”

As a teenager, Dr. Gooden heard about Xavier University in Louisiana and that they were number one in getting African-Americans admitted to medical school. That was just what she needed to hear to make Xavier her choice for undergrad and recently she was chosen as one of their “Top 40 under 40” alumni. After graduating from Xavier, Dr. Gooden received a four-year dual degree, Medical Doctorate and Masters of Public Health in Health Systems Management, from Tulane University. She then completed her general surgery residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham(UAB) Medical Center, where she was an NIH (National Institute of Health) scholar. It was during her general surgery residency that she developed a love for transplant surgery. “At UAB, you see a lot of trauma. So, you get the chance to help save someone’s life and add to the quantity of life but not necessarily the quality of life. What I began to see with transplant surgery was the opportunity to immediately improve someone’s quality of life. I saw a chance to save their life and make their life better.” After making the decision to change course from heart surgeon to transplant surgeon, she completed her abdominal transplant fellowship at the University of Michigan. Today, Christie W. Gooden, M.D., M.P.H. is a multiorgan transplant surgeon at Piedmont Transplant


Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. Her special interests include liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation as well as advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Prior to joining the Piedmont team, Dr. Gooden served as the surgical director of the Kidney Transplant Program and director of the Dialysis Access Center at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO. Also, she will tell you that any day she has a scalpel in her hand and is in the operating room, it’s a good day. “Other than being with my family, I’m most at home in the OR,” she says. It’s obvious when you meet her that she was meant for this, called to be God’s hands on the ground. She knows who she is and is doing her part to live out her purpose. But along the way she has faced discrimination for being not only female but a black female surgeon. “Some days I walk into the hospital room and I am immediately mistaken for the cleaning staff. On a good day, they think I’m a nurse and at least that is a member of the medical profession. I’ve had full conversations about a surgery with the patient and their family only to have them ask, ‘So YOU are doing the surgery?’ But once I perform their surgery successfully, they are all happy to introduce the ‘black girl’ that did their surgery.” Dr. Gooden says that it is easier to be the change than to convince people to change. So she allows her gift to speak for her and continues to change the hearts of people by saving their lives. Dr. Gooden has also taken her voice and story out into the community to encourage others to also live their dream in spite of the circumstances they might face. She has a heart for young people and is always open to speaking to a group of kids in hopes of inspiring


them to find their passion. She shared that she has a true love for mentorship and assisting those who just need someone to help them along the pipeline. She continues to build a network to create partnerships with schools and community organizations to show what is possible when you find your purpose and follow what you love. Recently she joined forces with some other Atlanta female surgeons to form “Women In Surgery.” This organization was founded to assist female medical students in navigating the often treacherous waters to becoming a surgeon. “There are still so many myths about women and surgery. They say you can’t be a wife. They say you can’t be a mother. They say you can’t have a personal life. But, my journey is evidence that this isn’t true. I am happily married with 10-yearold twins. So it’s important to me to be visible so that these young women will look at me and know they can.” While I was conducting this interview, Dr. Gooden was waiting for an organ to arrive to do a transplant that evening. Her excitement and love for what she does are tangible and she’s just the kind of person you would want to assist your loved ones in this situation. “I pray before every surgery. I pray for the families on both sides of the transplant. And when necessary, I pray that God will use me in making sure the legacy of the lost life is that they gave life to others.” Dr. Christie Gooden-Magee is someone special inside and outside of the operating room. She is a beautiful example to all the young girls that look like her that they can look in the mirror and say, “Yes, this is what a doctor looks like.” ■ Regina "Sunshine" Robinson


YEAR S of the

TRUMPET AWARDS It was 25 years ago when civil rights activist Xernona Clayton had the vision to honor and salute unique trailblazers. Her extraordinary vision birthed the Annual Trumpet Awards. The renowned awards show acknowledges the accomplishments of men and women who have significantly contributed to enhancing the quality of life for all people. The Trumpet Awards aims to inspire, educate, stimulate and enlighten members of all communities. Past honorees include Bryant Gumbel, Frank Sinatra, Louis Gossett, Jr., Neo and Muhammad Ali. This year’s ceremony aired on Sunday, January 29, 2017, on Bounce TV. This year’s honorees included advocate Martin Luther King, III and musical group New Edition. Award-winning journalist Ed Gordon said he attends the program because it’s a great reminder to excel in all areas, including science and business. Popular media personality Ed Lover assured members of the press that generations should celebrate all careers regardless of public prestige. Founder and community leader Xernona Clayton summarized the 25th anniversary perfectly when she said, “We are all the same inside.” She mentioned that citizens should unite for the betterment of society. Clayton believes that the celebration of excellence will inspire all communities. ■ Shana Thornton Shana Thornton is an award-winning digital journalist •


WHAT'S THE BIZ with Nikki Speakz There are a lot of small business owners out there who are trying to hustle just like you! But ask yourself this one question: “How can my business stand out and do more talking?� Depending on your business and the products/services you offer, always do a little bit of research to see what other competitors are doing. You should always continue to create new opportunities to draw your target audience to you. For instance, if you make and design skirts, what makes your product different from other small business owners who design skirts as well? It could be the pattern. Creating great discounts and testimonials with others in your marketing audience will draw more people closer to your business. Here are seven great strategies to help your small business stand out from others.

7 Strategies to making your small business talk! Visit Lil' Woman on a Mission website at

Make sure that your business name stands out!

When trying to make your business pop, you want people to turn their heads when they see your business name. What I did for my business name, Lil’ Woman on a Mission, I googled it to be sure that it wasn’t already taken. The worst thing about naming your business is if somebody else has the same exact name or similar name. Once you have your unique name in place, it is best to get it copyrighted so it can be officially yours.

The smaller your target audience is, the less complicated things will be. For my business, Lil’ Woman on a Mission, I cater to only small business owners looking to add a little P.I.N.K. Magic to their brand. I attract more women to my business so my new target audience is now women in small businesses.

Create a unique special for your service or product.

As CEO of my magazine F.U.S.E., I am always creating creative material and specials for my magazine so that I can draw my target audience in. Note that you may not get a great turnout at first, but the more you do it, the more people will be interested each time.

There is no point in starting a small business and you aren’t familiar with your product or what you offer. When people ask you fifty million questions, be ready to give a great response to each!

Have a great relationship with your clients!

Be known as an expert in what you are selling!

Keep them updated on new sales, new products, discounts, specials, etc. Having a great relationship with all your clients is the best way to let them know that you care about their needs and value their opinions.

What better way to get your target audience and readers interested than by marketing your product and services through blogging?

Make your business cards stand out!

Cater to a smaller audience!

Market your business through blogging!

Get creative with your business! I can’t stress that enough.


Travel Review Travel, Adventure & Luxury

all roads lead to greece ... and back again For Bon Vivant and Pioneer Travel Writer/ Blogger Matt Barrett I have always longed to travel full time - first throughout Europe, as I hope to do this summer, then, fingers crossed, around the world. As I was researching Greece, where we plan to begin and end our journey, I stumbled upon the very accessible, exceptionally friendly and prolific travel blogger (start with - Matt Barrett whose passion begins and ends with Greece. Here Matt takes time out of his very full schedule thoroughly enjoying his life to share his story and 21st year of writing about Greece.


What drew you and continues to draw you to Greece?

As for what I will be doing, if I am not swimming then I am eating, drinking or both. Probably both.

I think the reason Greece is popular is because it is somehow familiar while at the same time exotic. And maybe some of us once walked the streets of ancient Athens with Socrates and Plato. For me writing about Greece is a higher calling.

Which of the ruins are not to be missed?

What are your top favorite places to visit and things to see and do in Greece? These are the places in Greece you are most likely to find me: • • • • • • •

• The Acropolis • The Temple of Poseidon at Sounion • Delphi • Delos • Mycenae, Epidavros and the Argolis • Knossos knossos/index.htm • and a few dozen lesser known places, some of which are just as impressive as the well-known archaeological sites mentioned before.


Read www.lesvos.comfor more. On a practical note, I know readers are longing to know how you swing all this travel financially - what is your secret? I have a house in Greece and I don’t have a mortgage in the USA, I drive an old car, and my site makes money. If someone had only a day or so in Greece, what should they do?

As far as the Islands, which should not be missed? I don’t think there is an essential island but if I had to pick a few that I think my life was enriched by visiting they would be: • Lesvos ( • Sifnos ( • Santorini in the off-season ( • Kea, which is an island close to Athens ( • Crete ( • Milos ( • Hydra ( Why is Lesvos your favorite island? Lesvos is blessed with award-winning beaches, traditional villages, more varieties of birds and wildflowers than anywhere in Europe, pine forests, medieval castles, scenic harbors with cafes and inexpensive seafood restaurants, abundant fish, museums (including two of the finest art museums in Greece), hotels of every class and category, and some of the warmest, friendliest people in all of Greece. Lesvos has been a favorite location for artists, writers and romantics. Its natural attractions include a petrified forest and the unique Hot Springs.


They should change their ticket so they have a week in Greece at least. But if they only have a day then the Acropolis is essential. A nice dinner and drinks somewhere in Psiri or nearby. I have a page of suggestions for a short visit. (http://www.greektravel. com/suggestions/short-greekisland-trips.htm) and another page called Weekend in Athens (http:// What about a nice leisurely length of time? If you go to, I have written out various itineraries depending on how many days you have and what kind of person you are. But 10 days is a good amount of time for a visit to Greece if you are coming as far as from the USA. What are three things that will ease the way for visitors en route to Greece? Read my website from beginning to end. There is not much I don’t cover. ■ Cathy H. Burroughs, International travel writer and travel blogger

The Benefits of Pre-Cruise and Post-Cruise Hotel Stays

Often even travelers who are veteran cruisers don’t consider pre and post cruise stays. Perhaps many don’t know that popular cruise lines, such as Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, etc. offer this to their guests. Usually, the actual cruise is bundled with two to three nights, pre and post, at a nearby hotel, airfare and transfers to the ship. Also, you usually can park at the hotel gratis for the duration of the trip. Although air may have to be purchased when ticketed, the additional costs can be added to the balance of your cruise package price.

Eliminates Travel Delay Concerns It might be tempting to arrive in the port city the same day you sail. However, if things go south, and you don’t arrive on time, the ship won’t wait. You will have to join it (at your own expense) at the next port and if that ship spends the first day at sea, you would miss the onboard experience of the first day. And, who hasn’t forgotten to pack some item? Getting in early allows you time to purchase that much-needed item before you board. Easing Jet lag and Exploration Traveling to another rime zone can take its toll on guests, so arriving one to two days before, can prevent you from yielding to that groggy state that accompanies jet lag. You want to be fresh and up for all the fun on day one and beyond! Moreover, exploring and experiencing a new city before you embark can whet your appetite and curiosity for what is awaiting you onboard your ship. Ease of planning and budget-friendly Most cruise lines bundle pre and post cruise stays, as well as excursions, with cost savings passed to the traveler. So, not only are you saving money, someone else is doing “the heavy lifting. Also, the cruise lines vet the hotels in their packages, so there is an additional level of scrutiny to make sure the preferred hotel is a well-reviewed choice..

Making the most of it! It’s your vacation, right? Make the most of it. Don’t rush this experience. Take your time, slow down and extend your vacation. Why board your ship in Seattle or Vancouver, Florence or Barcelona and not treat yourself to getting to know these fabulous cities? There really isn’t much difference in airfares over a couple of days. So, relax and enjoy. For those sailing on an Alaskan cruise vacation or starting off on a European cruise, it’s a shame to fly all that way and not savor some of the world’s most exciting places. Watch Your Ship Arrive and Depart Getting into the port city early allows you to watch your own ship sail in from a distance. It is definitely a thrill to see the ship break the waters and come right to you. Similarly, if you’d like to reminisce about the great time you had onboard, you can watch it depart afterwards while dreaming of soon joining it once again in the future. Convinced? Think of the true value of being able to decompress before or after your cruise. Pre- and post-cruise stays allow the stress to melt away, which can only enhance the overall cruise vacation experience. Whether you’re going on a Mexican cruise or sailing to the Far East, and maximizing your time and leveraging the experience can help you get the most out of your vacation. In the end, you’ll be glad you took the time to do so.

For your next vacation 770 317 1574 •


THIS JUST IN Former Fox 5 anchor, Karen Graham announced Thursday, January 5, 2017, that she’s launching the FIRST and ONLY digital network, partnered with world news leader CNN; a television network for deaf and hard-of-hearing American Sign Language (ASL) users called, Sign1News. Karen Graham: African American Woman, Founder, Chief Executive Officer of Sign 1 News MAJOR NETWORK! - NOT SOCIAL MEDIA


Once Karen left FOX 5 News in September of 2016, she began to pitch her idea to a multiplicity of networks, and “it was very hard,” she said. She went on to say that she received a lot of NO’s, but she didn’t mind the NO’s because all she NEEDED was one (1) YES! And she received it from CNN! During the press conference, Karen informed us that while CNN is not providing funding for Sign 1 News, she has other private financial supporters backing her. The newscast will launch March 2017, with two daily broadcast at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., providing equal access to all citizens. Breaking news will be LIVE! Sign 1 News will display news that is of importance to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community as well as major to minor events.


Karen Graham

Karen is currently seeking to HIRE news anchors, an executive producer, multi-media journalist, editor, and web/social media producer. The most significant REQUIREMENT is, you MUST be proficient in English and American Sign Language! You can apply online at When asked whether or not she will embrace that anchor seat again, she replied by saying, “I’m Done.” Karen’s desire is to focus on the day to day, behind the scenes affairs and with her positioned in such a wonderful, powerful, yet humbling seat, she will be the wind beneath Sign 1 News wings, “pushing it to the forefront.”

Believe it or not, Karen Graham is fluent in American Sign Language; not because someone in her family is deaf, but because of the drawing of God. She loved deaf culture so much, that she began her academic studies of Deaf Culture and American Sign Language through the Interpreter Training Program at Georgia State University (formerly Georgia Perimeter College). Karen is currently studying for her national interpreter’s certification; and I am convinced and believe that whatever she sets out to accomplish, will be achieved! Karen serves as the Hands of Hope Ministry Leader at the Ray of Hope Christian Church, in Decatur, Georgia under the leadership of Dr. Pastor Cynthia L. Hale. Well, ladies and gentlemen, you have been privy to some exciting and positive BREAKING NEWS today ■ Shavonda McCaleb

Karen Graham is an Atlanta native, with 20 years of journalism experience. She is no stranger to the Metro Atlanta area, as she worked for WAGA-TV as the weekend sports anchor, and moving up the ladder to anchor the 9am hour of FOX 5, “Good Day Atlanta.” I’m sure many of you are very familiar with her beautiful smile, bubbling personality and her unique way of signing off the air by using the ASL “I Love You” sign.

I am Shavonda McCaleb, bringing you BOLD Favor Magazine’s


Jacquelyn Gardner had what most women would call the good life…she was blessed to have married her high school sweetheart! From high school football and basketball games, sports banquets, homecoming, proms and graduations… to the loss of a parent, marriage, birth of two beautiful daughters, jobs and homeownership… they conquered life’s ups and downs together. That is until the unimaginable occurred… Jacquelyn’s husband died and life as she and her young daughters’ knew it, would never be the same.

For more information regarding the organization as well as the launch party email them at

Everything changed in the blink of an eye. Jacquelyn’s husband was very hands-on when it came to everything dealing with their daughters’ lives…school, assisting with and checking homework, feeding them, trips to the park; as well as maintaining the household and bills…all things Jacquelyn would now have to handle alone. “Losing my high school sweetheart, husband and father of my children was too much to handle. After the funeral services, I had to re-adjust to life or what was left of it. I was always a strong advocate for therapy, but my grief was clouding my mind. Thankfully I had strong friends who dragged my children and myself to every form of counseling you could imagine. The therapeutic services helped tremendously.” Once she was able to put the shattered pieces of her and her daughters’ lives back together, Jacquelyn wanted to help others facing the same life changing situation…this led to her desire to start After The Dust Settles (ADS). ADS is a non-profit organization focusing on promoting therapy during the grieving process…the time that follows after the calls and


visits have become minimum or non-existent and reality has set in. “After the Dust Settles promotes and provides therapeutic programs for widows(ers) and parents grieving the loss of a child. ADS empowers those dealing with unimaginable grief to cope with their loss in a healthy, supportive environment, and to gain new tools for growing and thriving as individuals.” ADS is committed to inspiring those in need to develop a healthy mind, sense of hope in the future and strong independent survival skills. Future services that will be provided by ADS include therapy, informational seminars, group exercise, development of entrepreneurial skills and family oriented events. The official Launch Party for After the Dust Settles will be held in May. ADS is currently seeking volunteers, bloggers, grant writers, branding specialist, therapist, massage therapist, personal trainers and social media marketing gurus to attend this event. ■ Brianna Screen

Inspiration is something we should all have in life. Whatever you do, make sure you reach your best potential in life. Most people can’t succeed because they don’t have the right inspiration or a motivator to keep them on the path. I’ve been there before, it makes you feel like you’re stuck in one place and you don’t know what to do next but I’ve learned that you don’t stop, you keep going and show people that you still have something left in you worth fighting for. Whatever you put your mind to, go for it and take a risk, you never know, it might just be your breakthrough. Every season in your life is a test to see if you have what it takes to fulfill your destiny. ■ Asia Wheaton

visit us on facebook, twitter and instagram @TheGypsyEmpress • @BoldFavorMagazine

Hey world, it’s your favorite girlfriend, The Gypsy Empress here and guess what? I had the chance to sit down at Wahoo Grill located in our very own neighboring city of Decatur, GA and chat with Miss Priyanka Banks; formerly known as reality cast member on Vh1’s Sorority Sisters. This show initially aimed to highlight the inside world of sisterhood amongst Greek sororities such as Alpha Kappa Alpha, Zeta Phi Beta, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., just to name a few. But as we’re well aware of, that former dream quickly turned from a chance to sensationalize Greek sororities to an unwanted stigmatic reputation. But, I bet you’d love to actually see it for yourselves, wouldn’t you? OF COURSE, YOU WOULD. LOL! Visit and watch my entire interview with Priyanka! Listen to how she managed to use what seemed like the end of a dream to cultivate her new journey into entrepreneurship and breast cancer advocacy. Go on now, and tell em, The Gypsy Empress sent ya! So what…Live Free, The Gypsy Empress

Chats with Priyanka Banks

There are three types of people you are going to have in your life when you set out to do your own thing:

people to keep, people to coach and people to release. The people you keep are those who recognize and understand that when it’s time for you to “do your thing”, that is your time to shine; and when it’s time for them to do their thing, you’ll be there and will support… because it’s their time to shine. People to keep are not trying to take any attention away from you, they are not trying to push their own agendas during your time, and they are not trying to siphon off any business away from you. These are Keepers: people who you keep close to you, people you support in every way that you can, whether it’s in person or behind the scenes, you’ve got to be there. People you coach are those people who are around you to learn from you. They support you, but you know there is an angle, a reason for their presence. People in this category may edge into your territory – sometimes it’s intentional, other times it isn’t. These are people you coach: you help them move up and onward. You realize that they have a good heart, are there when you call them, are doing good things, and you want to support that. These people are open to instruction; they are learning as they go and probably do not have anyone who is mentoring them. Have compassion for them. Help them. They are doing the best they can, just as you are. Then there are the people you release. These are people who see you working hard and instead of asking how they may help, they are constantly trying to rip off what you have going. The “rip off” may be trying to take your clients or constantly getting in your way as you’re trying to do things. These are people who you love, but they have to go: they are impeding your progress and cutting into your bottom line, i.e., your money. Release those people from your life, and allow the Lord to deal with them. And when they have been through enough life lessons, they may come back to you. You can put them in the coaching category until they have proven themselves to be keepers.


Reflections from LMB:

People to Keep, to Coach and to Release

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